At Least 20 Others Also Killed in Combination Shooting-Suicide Bomb Attack
UPDATE: Al Qaeda Claims Responsiblity; Violence Erupts Across Pakistan
By Desi Doyen on 12/27/2007, 9:19am PT  

Guest Blogged by DES

Washington Post coverage...

Bhutto, 54, was being driven from the rally in her bulletproof vehicle when she asked that the rooftop hatch be opened so she could bid supporters farewell, according to several aides, including one who was sitting next to her.

As she leaned her head through the hatch, between three and five gunshots rang out, aides said. Bhutto sank back into her seat, just as a large bomb detonated to the left of her vehicle. Those inside the car said her face was badly bloodied. It was not clear whether she'd been hit by bullets or shrapnel from the bombing. She lost consciousness, aides said, and never regained it.

The explosion, apparently by a suicide bomber, killed at least 20 people outside the car, and injured many others. Police were investigating whether the bomber was also the gunman. One possibility was that the assailant fired the shots and then, after being tackled by security officials, detonated the bomb.

Coverage from around the world, including the inevitable politicization in this country, and a late update or two, all follow below...

Bush Condemns Assassination...

"The United States strongly condemns this cowardly act by murderous extremists who are trying to undermine Pakistan's democracy"...

New York Times full coverage.... Obituary: Benazir Bhutto, 54, Lived in Eye of Pakistan Storm

CNN full coverage....

In Washington, the State Department also condemned the attack. "It shows people are still intent on undermining democracy in Pakistan," said deputy spokesman Tom Casey...Pakistan --- which maintains nuclear weapons --- has been a key ally of the United States during its war against al Qaeda and Taliban terrorists in neighboring Afghanistan.

Bhutto's death heightens democracy concerns

Bhutto reflected on assassination attempt against her in October

The Guardian UK coverage....

The UN security council today called an emergency meeting amid warnings that the assassination of Benazir Bhutto could push Pakistan into civil war....A UN spokeswoman confirmed that a security council consultation would take place at noon in New York....

BBC News coverage...

Earlier this year, Ms Bhutto and Mr Musharraf had been working on a power-sharing agreement. The talks failed, leaving Ms Bhutto as the biggest political threat to President Musharraf, rather than an ally... One urgent decision is whether the 8 January national and provincial assembly elections should go ahead...

International Reaction...

AFGHAN PRESIDENT HAMID KARZAI: We in Afghanistan condemn this act of cowardice and immense brutality in the strongest possible terms. She sacrificed her life for the sake of Pakistan and for the sake of this region.

Associated Press coverage...

Musharraf convened an emergency meeting with his senior staff, where they were expected to discuss whether to postpone the elections, an official at the Interior Ministry said, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the talks.

Talking Points Memo: Bhutto Adviser: Musharraf Is To Blame

Fox News.com: Pakistan On Fire: Military On Alert After Bhutto Murder

Haaretz.com: Conspiracy Theories Abound Over Benazir Bhutto Slaying

TimesOnline UK coverage... Benazir Bhutto in quotes

On the attempt to assassinate her in October: "We are prepared to risk our lives. We’re prepared to risk our liberty. But we’re not prepared to surrender this great nation to militants. The attack was on what I represent. The attack was on democracy and very unity and integrity of Pakistan.

Who killed Benazir Bhutto? Main suspects

Analysis: can democracy survive Bhutto killing?

Reuters.com: Bhutto killing worries Pakistan investors, markets

NYT: Stocks Fall After Bhutto Assassination

Oil prices surged and American stock markets took a tumble on Thursday as investors grappled with a slew of weak economic data and concerns about economic fallout from the assassination of the Pakistani political leader, Benazir Bhutto.

And the politicization begins...

Talking Points Memo: Classy Scarborough: Assassination Helps Rudy

Fox News.com: Hopefuls Try to Show Foreign Policy Strength

Wash. Post's The Fix: Giuliani, Others Quickly React to Bhutto's Death

And, before the reader criticism comes rolling in, we acknowledge that the assassination of Bhutto is an international tragedy. But, The Fix is a political blog --- no apologies for that --- and ANY event with this sort of international reach is sure to impact the way in which people think about the candidates and the campaign in this country.

Pajamas Media: Blogger reaction roundup

Politico.com: Bhutto killing rocks '08 trail

UPDATE: Al Qaeda Claims Responsiblity for Assassination

Karachi, 27 Dec. (AKI) - (by Syed Saleem Shahzad) - A spokesperson for the al-Qaeda terrorist network has claimed responsibility for the death on Thursday of former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto.... “We terminated the most precious American asset which vowed to defeat [the] mujahadeen,” Al-Qaeda’s commander and main spokesperson Mustafa Abu Al-Yazid told Adnkronos International (AKI) in a phone call from an unknown location, speaking in faltering English. Al-Yazid is the main al-Qaeda commander in Afghanistan.

AFP: Violence erupted in cities across Pakistan as mobs went on the rampage in a wave of anger that left at least 10 people dead and dozens wounded, officials said.... Bhutto's death stunned world leaders who appealed for calm and warned that extremists must not be allowed to destabilise the nuclear-armed nation before January 8 general elections.